The continued population boom to Ballarat’s south-west has prompted Golden Plains Shire into forming a land use plan to accomodate for long-term growth.
Golden Plains Shire mayor Des Phelan said an influx of more than 2000 people was anticipated for the northern parts of the shire by 2030.
Council is in the early stages of establishing its Northern Settlement Strategy, which will allow it to identify which land use outcomes can be supported for development.
While growth is expected in Smythesdale and Napoleons areas, further expansion from Ballarat suburbs that border the Golden Plains Shire is also a major factor looking forward.
“In the north of the shire we have to identify areas that can be re-zoned so that growth can be sustainably accommodated for, keeping in mind that Smythesdale and Haddon are high fire risk areas,” he said.
“Council’s ID forecast profile predicts the population in the north-west of our shire to grow by 26 per cent over the next 20 years, and by 23 per cent in the central-west.
”The progression of Ballarat out west is going to impact on Haddon south of Bells Road (which is the shire’s northernmost border).
“That’s (the continued subdivision of land near Haddon and Smythes Creek) something I’d say in 15 to 20 years time that council will be looking at (as in need of infrastructure planing).
“If you don’t plan for it and it arrives then you’re behind on the infrastructure that you have to build to accommodate it.”
Fundamental to the formation of the strategy is residential feedback, with those living to the north of Rokewood urged to submit online surveys and review council’s seven settlement profiles, which identify available utilities, services, infrastructure and key land use planning constraints for each respective area.
Council will also hold consultation sessions at the Rokewood Memorial Hall, Cape Clear Primary School, Napoleons Hall, Linton Recreation Reserve, the Northern Community Centre, Smythesdale Well and Meredith Community Centre.
The consultation period will be open for two months and community feedback will feed into the draft strategy, which will be open for comment later in the year.
Residents who wish to fill out the survey or find consultation session times can do so through the www.goldenplainsdigital.com.au/consultations/156 website.
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